FAA: Falling frozen waste from plane possible caused holes in roofs

8:41 AM, Sep 11, 2012   |    comments
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VALLEY STREAM, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - The Federal Aviation Administration is now looking into why two homes on Long Island have gaping hole in their roofs. The homeowners suspect something fell from an overhead airplane - and what it may have been has them disgusted.

The hole in the roof of one Valley Stream home could fit a basketball. Something tore through the shingles, plywood and insulation at 3:30 a.m. Sunday, CBS 2's Carolyn Gusoff reported exclusively.

"We both woke up to a very loud bang. I looked around - no breeze, no rain, nothing," homeowner Lois Farella said.

Adding to the mystery, next door on Home Street there is another hole in a roof. Ann Grace's roof was also torn apart at the same time. She reported it police who do not suspect it was a break-in attempt.

"It's a very huge hole. It did a lot of damage through heavy wood. I can't imagine if it hit a person," Grace said.

Her roofer found a brown, wet stain inside the damaged attic. He said he can't imagine anything strong enough to make that kind of hole other than falling debris from an airplane.

"That's a lot of blunt force that did that [and it] was coming from a distance. It blew through and inch and a half of shingles and those shingles are tough," Bryan Lanzello said.

"It's hard to understand what could have done this. It had to have come from a plane. A bird couldn't have done it."

The FAA said something like this happens a couple of times each year - airplane toilets can leak and at high altitudes the waste freezes and can and break off in chunks of what's known as "blue ice."

The FAA said it's sending an inspector to Valley Stream and will check air traffic reports to  determine what was overhead Sunday at 330 a.m. Then the agency will ask the airline to check for leaks.

It's not easy to prove a specific airplane is responsible, and it's not easy for homeowners to pay for repairs that could run into the thousands of dollars.

"Someone said we need a whole new roof," Farella said.

In February a house in Malverne was pelted with sludge believed to be "blue ice," officials said.

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